The new £6.5m Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Homes (AIMCH) scheme, funded by Innovate UK, could transform and modernise how homes are built
A collaborative innovation project, which aims to help combat the UK housing crisis by using industrialised offsite solutions to deliver high-quality homes faster, more reliably and at the same cost of masonry-built homes, has been awarded funding under the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
The £6.5m R&D project, known as Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Homes (AIMCH), is a collaboration between Stewart Milne Group, Barratt Developments PLC, London & Quadrant Housing Trust Ltd, Tarmac Trading Ltd, the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) and Forster Roofing Services Ltd as the SME partner. The project will be managed by Limberger Associates.
The three-year AIMCH project aims to tackle all these challenges and become a major player in the housing sector by identifying and developing industrialised offsite solutions needed to meet current and future housebuilding demands. These will be trialled on live housing projects, with successful new methods then being commercialised and brought to market in volume.
It is expected that AIMCH will result in new digital design tools, manufacturing advancements, improved near-to-market offsite systems and lean site processes. The ultimate goal of the AIMCH project is to support the housing sector by delivering the target of 120,000 homes for the same or less cost than traditional craft methods, 30% more quickly and with a 50% reduction in defects. The project has the potential to impact on 35,000 homes being delivered by AIMCH partners across the UK each year.
"Digital working and industrialised offsite construction can be part of the solution, but they have not yet broken through as viable mainstream alternatives to traditional methods of building homes.
Mike Pitts from Innovate UK added: "We are excited about the possibilities of this project, which we hope will be a game-changer for the housing sector. The partners are experienced innovators and offer scale to showcase a world-leading solution. It brings CSIC and MTC's innovation and industrialisation capability together with high profile housing and offsite manufacturing providers, who provide scale and a clear route to market. It has the potential to deliver wider sector benefits in terms of jobs, investment and growth."